We get a lot of questions about baby sleeping safety, especially as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is such a terrifying risk. SIDS is the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby which usually happens when they are sleeping, and although it is rare, it is a big worry for parents. There are some recommendations from experts on how to lower the risk of SIDS which we have always adhered to. Find out more about baby safety and sleeping here in the first of our new safety series of blog posts.
Place your baby on their back to sleep
It has been proven that placing your baby on their back to sleep can help reduce the risk of SIDS, and it doesn’t make them more prone to choking (as some contradictory information would lead you to believe). A lot of concerned parents often ask us if the Babocush is safe for their baby to sleep on, but your Babocush is a cushion to let your baby rest and get relief from reflux or colic – it is not intended for sleeping, as it holds your baby on their tummy in a secure position using padded straps. It is still important for your baby to get some tummy time, as this reduces the risk of flat head syndrome, but when it comes to sleeping always make sure you place your baby on their back, until they are old enough to roll over on their own in which case it is fine if they naturally turn onto their sides or tummies during the course of the night to sleep.
Sleeping in a cot
Your baby should sleep in a cot in your room for the first six months. It is never recommended that you sleep with your baby on a chair or sofa, and if you are considering co-sleeping then you should know that there are some safety risks with this too. These include risk of suffocation, falling out of bed, injury and of course SIDS. It’s also not advised if your baby was born premature – born before 37 weeks, or has a low birth weight (less than 5.5lbs). If you still intend to try co-sleeping, here are some tips to ensure your baby’s safety whilst sleeping:
- Sleep on a firm mattress to reduce the risk of your baby getting trapped
- Keep blankets and pillows to a minimum to avoid smothering your baby and overheating
- Never leave the baby alone in the bed
- Lie on your side facing your baby, with your body curled around them and your arm above your baby's head to prevent you from rolling forwards or backwards and to keep pillows away from your baby’s head.
Keep your baby’s head uncovered
To help your baby sleep safely, you should position them in their cot with their feet at the bottom to stop them from wriggling under the covers. Don’t use a pillow and make sure you tuck the covers in under your baby’s arms so they can’t come loose up over their head and suffocate them. Babies lose heat through their heads so it’s important that you keep their head clear so they can regulate their temperature whilst sleeping.
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